At this time, Hua Yi suddenly lowered his voice and said to Suo Laimu: “So you already knew that the great Jushan elder was colluding with the ghost tribe?”
Even as he said this, Suo Laimu unexpectedly did not refrain the slightest from talking in front of Chang An. As he paused, he thoughtfully looked at the young man who had thrown away the shell of the fruit and immediately began gnawing on the meat skewer. After which, he went so far as to neither avoid talking about a taboo topic nor keeping his voice low: “Do you think I’m Luo Tong’s sickly son who lives in the bones of a woman? How much property does the Jushan tribe have? Among these, how much is a surplus? And inside whose pockets? This was the first thing I looked into after we split up and I followed Luo Tong back to the tribe. All of a sudden, there were so many missing weapons in the arsenal, and more than half of the sealed dried meat was gone, but there was no shortage of pearl stones and some treasures. On the contrary, betas couldn’t keep up with the accounts. Where do you say all these things went?”
Hua Yi frowned.
Suo Laimu sighed, then said, “It’s just that we took over the tribe out of thin air. Although it was a fair deal, there are still so many people who refuse to accept you in the tribe. I mean, instead of dealing with these people twice every three days , it would be better to catch everything in one net  and beat them at their own game.”
Hua Yi stared at him and then chided him in a low voice: “Nonsense. I heard Shan Xi and Lu Quan were both injured in combat. You suddenly weeding out almost half of the people of Jushan Tribe, do you want to leave me with an empty shell?”
Suo Laimu waved his hand without a care and said, “Aren’t the people of the Black Eagles there? They’re all good fighters. Wouldn’t adding them be better than keeping a group of good-for-nothings that don’t care about you? Stop messing with me.”
Hua Yi didn’t care a bit about this sub-beast’s offensive words. He frowned for a moment as he weighed and considered it in his mind, then asked: “Ah, wait a minute. God stick , lemme ask you. How do you know that the Black Eagle tribe can… Don’t tell me this is what those gods you worship told you?”
Suo Laimu rolled his eyes at the sky, took a huge bite on the meat, and said vaguely: “Can’t you see the terrain? Don’t you know that, at the mountain pass, the Black Eagle Tribe would use the skull of the Big Bone rabbit as a wine barrel every Autumn Hunting Festival? And that at this time of the year, they’d send their best hunters to capture the Big Bone rabbit? The terrain is convenient and the interior is empty. If the ghost tribe came at this time, what do you say would happen?”
Hua Yi didn’t know–who would be so bored that even the trivial  customs of a small tribe would be kept in mind?
When he asked Suo Laimu, he was rendered speechless. Seeing Chang An turning his eyes to see this and that, he felt he had lost face. He made a mistake when he couldn’t refute it. Hua Yi smiled at Chang An, whose mouth had gone oily from the meat, and said, “Let me show you something new.”
Saying so, the bored man snatched off Suo Laimu’s hat, revealing a head that had been flattened and gone uneven because of the hat. There was a little pigtail on top of his head, and somehow, there was a yellow pheasant feather inserted into it. It swayed in the night wind and was unusually coquettish.
Suo Laimu immediately flew into a rage. He jumped up to fight him head-on, but realizing he wasn’t strong enough, he just pointed at him while stamping his foot. “My hat is from the God of the Sky! You are disrespectful! Very disrespectful! Tonight you will surely be unlucky!”
Hua Yi burst into laughter. Turning his hat on one finger, he said, “Drop it ba. Who doesn’t know that this was made by an old tailor. The old sub-beast’s eyes were getting blurry with age, and he sewed a broken and asymmetrical hat. What God of the Sky… HAHAHAHA!”
Suo Laimu cried out: “What do you know? The hat of the Sky God is asymmetrical! One light and one heavy, which means that one side day and one side is night. Although unbalanced, the cycle would go on…”
At this time, Chang An looked at his unusual  head and suddenly said: “Then what god is the pheasant tail feather?”
Suo Laimu choked.
A moment later, the sub-beast’s pleasant voice changed its tone, and an “ao”  sounded from his throat. “You uncivilised savages that can only dance with blades and spears!”
That night, the Black Eagle tribe brought wine. They kept several warriors on guard throughout the battlefield. Others sprinkled their drinks on a valley lining a river. And some roasted the heads of their enemies in the fire as sacrifice to the heavens while humming an old song of farewell. Then they began to drink wine and eat meat, celebrating the death of their enemies in anger and in sorrow as they danced around the heads in the fire.
Hua Yi seemed to be very relaxed–maybe a little too relaxed. Soon after drinking a few large pots of wine, he unexpectedly stepped into nothing and rolled into the river, as if in response to Suo Laimu’s curse
Irritated by the cold water, he became a little sober. Floating on his back on the river, he gazed at the full moon and at the satiny stars that filled up the whole sky. All of a sudden, he had no idea what day it was tonight.
At this time, his collar was caught. Hua Yi looked back and saw Chang An squatting by the river, hooking his collar with the handle of his saber.
The boy’s meticulous expression strangely warmed Hua Yi in the icy river water, so he relaxed himself as he allowed the other party to drag him bit by bit back to the shore.
Hua Yi closed his eyes and smelled all kinds of smells in the air. He could hear the sound of Chang An stirring the fire with a stick, and for a moment, he felt both good and frightened.
He didn’t know what he was afraid of. He was tall, big, cunning, and good at fighting. He looked strong and murderous, and others would tremble in fear upon hearing his name.
The path of a mercenary was very difficult. Hua Yi had always wished for a few more friends and to be treated as a friend. He had always been loyal to his friends and wouldn’t go against them, even to this day. His friends included Suo Laimu, his two xiongdis, Shan Xi and Lu Quan, who were still recovering from this task in Jushan tribe. And there were also those who were scattered across the continent, people who were willing to work for him when they got his message.
And then there was this person… Although they haven’t known each other long, his xiao xiongdi had gone through fire and water  with him.
He felt gratified and happy.
But every time he felt his friend was too good, his heart would give birth to fear–the kind of fear that as if a sharp blade would come out from the dark and stab him in the heart.
2 一网打尽 – to solve problem in one fell swoop.
7 出生入死 (idiom) (chū shēng rù sǐ) – Literally, “from the cradle to the grave;” willing to risk life and limb.
Suo Laimu when Hua Yi took his hat: Alright, that’s it. Dishonor! Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your cow! Dishonor on your whole family!
Lizonka: Hua Yi and Chang An share one brain cell. All they know about is fighting 🤣
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